Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Children, like adults, are at risk of developing "long COVID." But experts are still struggling to understand what, exactly, that risk level is.

Why it matters: As the work to determine how common certain coronavirus vaccine side effects are in children, it's important to balance these risks against the risk of children remaining unvaccinated — which includes their risk of long-term health issues if they get infected.

The big picture: Pediatricians across the country say it's unclear how common long COVID is in children.

  • That's in part because we don't know how many kids have been infected by the virus. But it's also because "most kids with COVID long-haul aren’t coming to the surface. We’re not finding them," said Amy Edwards, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • "We don’t know the numerator or the denominator," she said, adding that the condition is probably less common in children than adults.

Between the lines: Parents have been trying to balance the pandemic's risk to children with its disruption to their lives for more than a year. Kids generally don't get as sick from the virus as adults do, although a small percentage do have severe cases.

  • Parents of young children are still trying to figure out how to handle the country reopening while waiting for their kids to become eligible for vaccines. And plenty of parents are hesitant for their kids to be vaccinated at all, regardless of their age.
  • Emerging evidence about a possible link between mRNA vaccines and myocarditis in young people could further heighten parents' fears, although experts caution that remaining unvaccinated is still the larger risk for children.

Details: Long COVID is different from multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children, another condition that children can develop after their initial coronavirus infection.

  • Long COVID is "more an overall general sense of unwellness opposed to a massive inflammatory response that lands them in the hospital," Edwards said. "COVID long haul is more poor recovery...they just never quite get better.”
  • Long COVID appears to be more common in teenagers than younger children, experts said. Otherwise, there's not a lot of information about who's at the highest risk.
  • Common symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain and fatigue, said Ixsy Ramirez, a pediatric pulmonologist at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. She said that a lot of the children she's seeing were previously healthy and not the kids that she would have guessed would be at risk.

State of play: Some experts said they're seeing more long COVID in children now than they did earlier in the pandemic, but it's unclear why.

  • One reason may be because parents weren't sure for a while whether their kids were sick or just generally off-kilter from lockdowns and social distancing.
  • “We don’t know what the duration is or what is the best way to treat these patients," said Beth Theilen, an infectious diseases professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis.

The bottom line: "We're in a place with COVID long haul, especially with kids, that we don’t know what we don’t know," Edwards said.

Go deeper

Jun 23, 2021 - Health

CDC: "Likely association" between rare heart inflammation and COVID-19 vaccines

A Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

The CDC concluded Wednesday there is a "likely association" between heart inflammation and COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, especially in adolescents and young adults, but still see a clear benefit for the group to get the shot.

The big picture: The findings presented by the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices coincide with similar data — that men under 30 make up a larger proportion of cases especially after the second shot, and the condition is rare and treatable.

Jun 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Border Democrats want migrants vaccinated

Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Tex.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Some Democrats representing border districts want President Biden to vaccinate migrants crossing into the U.S. — especially if he lifts public health restrictions that have prevented them from claiming asylum on American soil.

Why it matters: Inoculating migrants treads a fine line of protecting the U.S. population while possibly incentivizing more migration with the offer of free COVID-19 vaccines. Republicans are likely to pounce on that.